Favourite Outfits of 2013

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

 a change of accessories and hair colour later...

I used to be really good at remembering to take a quick outfit photo before I left for work in the morning, then posting a "What I Wore" summary at the end of the month.  That series fell by the wayside about halfway through the year though so I have a bit of a lack of outfits to share with you for Autumn/Winter but looking back I prefer most of the outfits I wore earlier in the year anyway - my style has got a bit more boring I think (jeans and a jumper have become my workwear staple).  One of the things I want to do with this blog in 2014 is incorporate more fashion stuff and try get better at doing outfit of the days, so hopefully that will become a bigger part of Cocktails & Daydreams going forward.  I even have a reminder on my hoodie....

Christmas present from my sister - how cool?!

My Life in 2013

Monday, 30 December 2013
With 2013 almost over it's time for reflection of the year that's passed and thinking ahead to 2014 and all it holds.  I'd say one of the main themes of my 2013 has been friendship, and it's all thanks to blogging really - who'd have thought that writing about makeup and clothes on the internet would lead to me making genuine friends for life?

I'm not going to list them all (they know who they are), but the group of friends I've made are some of the loveliest girls I've ever met.  Given that we all write blogs we obviously have a lot in common to start off with but from getting to know each other we've found that we have a lot of shared values and interests or life experiences so it's been really easy to fall into close friendships.  We are all so supportive of each other too which is lovely - I can guarantee within half an hour of posting a selfie on Instagram I'll have a few likes/comments from the usual suspects, and if I'm feeling down there's nothing like our Facebook email chain to cheer me right up.

Over the year our friendship has progressed from occasionally seeing each other at blogger events to unofficial meet ups then dinner, cinema, nights out, flat parties, and even a holiday - to steal a line from Kirsty, "I think we are REAL pals".  I'm looking forward to more fun times in 2014 - there's even talk of an overseas bloggers holiday - bring it on!

my friends laura, sam & colin on our ice skating adventure

I started off the new year with lots of good intentions: I joined Weight Watchers (lasted 2 months), and I started trying new things like eating kangaroo at Khublai Khan and ice skating for the first time in about 20 years.

Film of the month: Django Unchained
Song of the month: Moonlight Matters - Come For Me

me, colin & sam enjoying cocktails at Lola Lo

A fairly quiet month with the highlights being a day out at the museum and a fun speed dating themed Valentines' Scottish Bloggers party.

Film of the month: Didn't watch any!
Song of the month: Demi Lovato - Give Your Heart a Break

girls aloud at the secc in glasgow

This was my birthday month and I celebrated it in style in Glasgow at the Girls Aloud tour.  March was also when I attended my first ever brand blogger event at Next which was really exciting.  Also I hosted a fun games night at my flat - pizza, games, wine and cakes, what more could you ask for?

Film of the month: Stoker
Song of the month: Girls Aloud - Something New

at Le Monde for dinner & cocktails with my mum and cousin

This month I took a step out of my comfort zone in more ways than one.  Firstly I travelled to Paris on my own for a work meeting (it was a bit daunting, but I coped!) and secondly I started my Youtube channel (fulfilling one of my 2013 new years' resolutions).  Also this month I attended a workmates wedding and had a fun night out with my parents & my cousin (including fiery cocktails).

Film of the month: The Place Beyond The Pines
Song of the month: Justin Timberlake - Mirrors

dino Jack scaring me, Shara, Sam & Laura

I spent a bit of time down South this month, both for work and for pleasure.  Firstly with a trip to Cliveden House for work and then a girls weekend in London for my friend Holly's hen do.  Also this month I went to a late night party at the museum where I got chased by a dinosaur. 

Film of the month: Iron Man 3
Song of the month: Billie Piper - Honey To The Bee

view from the top of the George Hotel at the Tempus summer menu launch party

Some highlights this month included sipping champagne in a penthouse suite at the George Hotel, placing bets with work pals on a day at the races, and getting spectacularly drunk when Jemma visited from France (worst. hangover. ever).

Film of the month: Silver Linings Playbook
Song of the month: Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines*
*hate the lyrics, video and artist but the tune is so damn catchy

the family at Nik's graduation at the Stadium of Light

This month I did a daily blogging challenge and actually managed to stick to it!  On the blogging front I also treated myself to a Macbook (best purchase of the year) and won £200 ASOS vouchers in a blogger style competition (I still have about £40 left actually as I completely forgot about it!).  It was also the month my little sister graduated from uni so I went down to Sunderland for the ceremony with my folks.

Film of the month: Friends With Kids
Song of the month: Demi Lovato - Heart Attack

me and Anna at our friend Holly's wedding

This was a pretty busy month full of love and friendship.  I started off the month at a beautiful wedding with my old uni pals, then celebrated B and I's 5 year anniversary with a lovely stay at Fonab Castle in Pitlochry, with a few nights out with my favourite blogger girls inbetween.

Film of the month: Alpha Papa
Song of the month: Katy Perry - Roar

me and B in Frankfurt at the Palmengarten

A month of travelling with B and I taking a multi-city break across Germany and the Netherlands.  We visited an abandoned theme park in Berlin, messed about on pedal boats in Frankfurt, and toured a football stadium in Amsterdam.

Film of the month: Katy Perry Part of Me
Song of the month: Miley Cyrus - We Can't Stop

me, Lynsey & Jade at the FABB Glasgow event

Blogger event central this month with a couple of bar/restaurant launches and salon & spa events.  I also relived my childhood by having a day out at Blair Drummond Safari Park.

Film of the month: Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa
Song of the month: Lorde - Royals

the whole gang in the Hive for Laura's birthday (photo credit Laura)

This was a month of fun with my blogger friends, starting with Gillians halloween party, ending with a weekend away together in Aberfeldy, with Laura's cocktail filled birthday night out in the middle.  

Film of the month: Gravity
Song of the month: CHVRCHES - Mother We Share

christmas morning excitement

This has felt like the quickest month of the year, with the first few weeks being full of catch ups with friends, parties, last minute shopping and Christmas prep, then once Christmas was over everything completely slowed down and I spent about 80% of the time in PJ's (which made for some exciting daily vlogs for my Vlogmanay series…).

Film of the month: Anchorman 2
Song of the month: AWOLNATION - Sail

2013 Resolutions Revisited

Saturday, 28 December 2013

So at the end of last year I set myself 13 resolutions for 2013 - at the time I acknowledged that this was quite a big challenge but I was confident I could keep them….well to my old optimistic self I say HA! YOU FOOL!  because OF COURSE I didn't manage to keep them all, no one ever keeps resolutions really do they?  What was I thinking…

Anyway, for a laugh let's look back at all 13 of those resolutions and see how I did:

1) Reach my goal weight
To recap, this would involve losing around 5 stone, and we can safely say that this did not happen.  I tried Weight Watchers for the first few months but as I was just doing it online and not going to classes I found it very hard to stick to to.  I also tried the 5:2 diet for a while but didn't notice any weight loss at all.  I did stick at the gym though and for the vast majority of the year I went at least once a week, and for about 50% of the year I used My Fitness Pal to keep an eye on my calorie intake.  Overall I've finished the year almost 1 stone lighter than I was at the start which is better than nothing.  For 2014 I'm going to try get back on the wagon though and up my gym visits to at least twice a week, and try keep sweet treats and takeaways etc to the weekend only.  A few of my friends are also trying to lose weight at the moment so I think having a bit of friendly competition will be a good bit of motivation.

2) Get my 5 a day and drink more water
I'd say my water intake has improved a bit but I'm still not eating enough fruit and veg really so I need to get better at that in 2014.

3) Read 20 books
Unfortunately I read around 4 books in total this year, which sounds absolutely terrible when I write it down.  Must. Do. Better.

4) Get "film educated"
The idea here was that B was going to make me watch all those classic/iconic films that I hadn't seen.  We started the year off well with me watching Run Lola Run and The Big Lebowski in the first few months but then we kind of forgot about it.

5) Visit the top 10 attractions in Edinburgh
We did visit a few tourist attractions in our fair city through the year - The National Museum and Edinburgh Zoo - but nowhere near the full 10.  

6) Visit 5 new places
Now this one I did do!  With work I visited Southampton for the first time, in August B and I went to Pitlochry for our anniversary, my multi-city holiday took us to Berlin and Frankfurt (Amsterdam I'd been to before), and then in November I went to Aberfeldy with my blogger pals.

7) Make £1,000 selling on eBay
Ha I wish.  I did do a bit of selling earlier in the year - getting rid of about 20 items of clothing - but that was £100 at most I think.  I am planning on getting back into the eBay game from January though as we want to move house in 2014 so I need to get rid of lots of stuff first.

8) Try new things
I think I did stick to this one really - I went ice skating, travelled on my own a few times for work (Paris and London), was a bit more experimental with my hair and makeup (mastered the fishtail plait, cut my hair short, tried ombre), and took myself out of my comfort zone but going to a couple of blogger events on my own.

9) Go to more blogger events
Definitely stuck to this one - I've lost count of how many events I went to this year, both brand and also unofficial blogger organised ones.  Again this is something that took me out of my comfort zone as I don't really like to turning up to things on my own and find meeting and chatting to new people quite daunting, but I'm so glad I just pushed myself and did it as I've made so many great friends from going to events.

10) Start making Youtube videos
Again another one I managed to stick to, with me starting my Youtube channel in April.  I eased myself in with some tags and hauls, but since then I've moved into doing vlogs which is a bit tougher (especially if it involves walking around talking to a camera in public!) but a lot of fun.  In 2014 I plan on doing a lot more with my channel, hopefully including some collab videos with some of my blogger friends.

11) Make an effort to see old friends more
Hmm, not sure I have stuck to this one to be honest.  I've spent a lot of time with friends this year but it's largely been my new friends I've seen rather than my old ones.  Although in saying that I did see some people this year for the first time in aaaages (like my uni pals at a hen weekend and wedding), but I didn't make as much effort as I should have really.

12) Learn to drive
HA no this did not happen.  Not even had a lesson yet.  Really should start in 2014, but I just can't be bloody bothered!

13) Save for a deposit
So at the start of 2013 the plan was that B and I would save up for a deposit with the aim of us trying to buy a house in 2014.  However we've had a change of heart and have now decided that we're actually happy to continue renting for the foreseeable future and instead spent 2013 pretty much doing what we wanted (hence the epic 3 city holiday in the summer).  Now the plan is that we are just going to save "for the future" in 2014 (i.e. future holidays, a wedding, babies etc) and while we do want to move out of this flat we are going to look for a new place to rent rather than getting on the mortgage train.

So that's 4 out of 13 which isn't great really is it?  Although to be honest I'm not that bothered - I've come to the conclusion that resolutions are a terrible idea - they are basically just a way of making you feel bad about yourself at the end of the year when you realise you haven't stuck to them.  So I'm not making any this year - I'm just planning on going into 2014 with a positive attitude and with good intentions to try get healthier, see friends,  continue my blogging/youtube journey, and plan for the future.  I think that's a much better way of starting the year rather than going in with a set of goals I'm unlikely to achieve.  

Down with resolutions! ;)

Video: Get Ready With Me

Friday, 27 December 2013
I know it's a bit of a cop out to do a blog post that is actually just a video but hey, it's the Christmas holidays and I'm being lazy, so sue me.

This is my first ever "Get Ready With Me" video - I love watching these and I've been meaning for ages to film my own but never seem to have time to set up the camera and stuff whilst getting ready in the morning.  As I'm off work on holiday at the moment though I took the opportunity to film this video and OH MY GOD what a hassle it was!  Mainly due to my camera and its stroppy ways - it's taken to freezing and then turning itself off (with that clip then completely failing) so that happened after I'd done up to my concealer meaning I'd lost about 5 minutes.  I was planning on just adding an intro card explaining that the first part had got lost, but then after finishing my makeup I realised I'd FORGOTTEN TO PRESS RECORD(!) so the whole thing was a complete write off and I had to remove my makeup and start again.  The second time around I kept stopping every 2 minutes so I had lots of little clips, thus avoiding the freezing issue, but it still happened another few times so some bits are missing or are shorter than they should be.  ANYWAY….camera issues aside it turned out ok, and I've since bought myself a new camera in the John Lewis sale (this one) which I'll pick up in a few days so all going well I should be able to do hassle free filming in the new year.

Whilst on the topic of videos, I've been doing some daily vlogging the last few days in a series I'm calling "Vlogmanay" (i.e. daily vlogs between Christmas and New Year/Hogmanay) so keep an eye on my Youtube channel for those (day 1 is already up).  I've just been using my iPhone which has made my life a lot easier!

Scottish Bloggers Secret Santa Part 2

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Meeeeerry Christmas!!

Just a very quick post from me today (scheduled of course….I will most likely be currently lying on the sofa nursing a massive food baby) to update you on my Scottish Bloggers Secret Santa.  I've previously posted about the gift that I sent to Judith from The Wee Blondie, and today I've got details of the gift I received.  I'd said I hoped that the person would reveal themselves so I could get in touch to say thanks and luckily they did, so a massive thank you to Ashly!!

My gift was beauty themed with a Barry M shadow & blush palette, a Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze (yaaaay, this was on my wish list), and an Arbonne ultra-hydrating hand cream.  I've pretty much used On and On Bronze every day since my pressie arrived and I absolutely love it!  Also I'm planning on using the Barry M palette for my Christmas Day makeup so keep an eye on my Instagram for a festive FOTD.

Thanks again to the Scottish Blogger Network for organising this years' Secret Santa, not only has it been great fun giving and receiving the gifts, but I've also found 2 new blogs to read now thanks to the gift pairing!

Christmas Party OOTD

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

This is the outfit that I wore to my works Christmas party this year - apologies for the poor lighting, I took the photos in our hotel room just before we went down for dinner and the mood lighting wasn't ideal for an OOTD.  We were staying at Blythswood Square in Glasgow which is one of my favourite hotels - we stayed here previously on our anniversary a couple of years ago so when we booked it for our works Christmas do I was well excited that we'd get to stay again.  

The dress is from Primark - you don't get the full effect from the photos but it's a navy and blue floral patterned skater dress (I actually have the same dress in burgundy too!).  For accessories I went for lots of sparkle with a blue sequinned bag (old, from John Lewis), my current favourite New Look necklace, a sparkly ring (old - can't even remember where it's from) and this gorgeous vintage style bangle from Glitzy Secrets*.

Normally I get really stressed out about finding the perfect party dress but this year I decided to be a bit more relaxed about it and was actually planning on wearing a dress I already owned until I spotted this in Primark a few days before the party.  Also as it's fairly casual I'll actually get a lot of wear out of it rather than it being relegated to the back of my wardrobe.

After shooting off fairly early from the party (I'm definitely getting old - by 10, after a massive meal and a few glasses of wine I was half asleep) I took advantage of the amazing hotel room by having a lush bath and then watching a movie in bed (falling asleep 30 mins before the end).  Party animal.

What's going on 'ere?

Christmas Wishlist: Home Edition

Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Only one week till Christmas so time for my final Christmas Wishlist and this time it's homeware related.  Not sure if I've mentioned it on here before but when I was at uni I worked at Debenhams part-time in the homeware department (technically in a bedding concession, but you get the idea) and since then I've been pretty obsessed with homeware.  Take me to Ikea or the Next Home store and I'm in heaven.  I could spend hours browsing for kitchen items or cushions or bedding, I just love it.  I absolutely can't wait for the day when I get an unfurnished house or flat that I can make my own.  Basically I. love. homeware.

Anyway moving on, as my last gift guide / wishlist I've had a look at my favourite places online for homewares and put together a nice selection of gift ideas.  As you can tell, I like things with hearts on!  I think my favourites are the tree bark vase and the bird cage tea light holder - so cute! 

Also, again everything is under £20.

wooden home words ornament - £4
pantone mug - £10

Scottish Bloggers Holiday

Monday, 16 December 2013

A few weekends ago myself and 6 of my best blogger pals went off on a little holiday in the Highlands.  Now if you follow me or any of the other girls on Twitter or Instagram you're probably sick fed up of hearing about it since we pretty much tweeted and posted photos allllll weekend, but I'm going to go on about it some more here so I'm sorry (not sorry).

We booked the trip waaay back in the summer when Laura spotted a deal on 5pm for a cottage break at Moness Resort in Aberfeldy.  It was an absolute bargain for a 3 bedroom cottage so we quickly snapped it up and then spent months getting excited about our wee holiday.  By the time the weekend rolled around we were like a bunch of excited kids on Christmas Eve - honestly you'd think none of us had been on holiday before - so we had one excitable mini bus journey up to Aberfeldy (thanks to Iona's dad who was an absolute gem and drove us there and back).  

The cottage we stayed in was AMAZING - so much better than we could have ever expected.  It had 2 floors, with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms on the ground floor and then a huge open plan kitchen/living room upstairs with a seperate dining area.  When we arrived most of the girls immediately ran upstairs to check out the main room but I was sensible/sneaky and quickly identified the best bedroom and bagsied it for me and Kirsty (ha-HA!).  So we ended up with what was clearly the "parents" bedroom as it was huge and had an ensuite, and for the rest of the holiday we were the designated "mummy and daddy".

We spent the first night playing Cranium in PJ's and onesies whilst drinking various cocktail concotions.  If you haven't played it before, Cranium is the ideal party board game - you are in teams and there are different categories so you can go from doing charades to humming songs to drawing blindfolded to making random objects out of playdoh - basically lots of fun.  Add to that a lot of alcohol and you got yourself a part-aaay.

The next morning surprisingly there were no bad hangovers, so after a relaxing morning sitting around chatting and watching Elf we went out for a little walk down to Aberfeldy (stopping on the way for #OOTD photoshoots!).  It was the Aberfeldy Festive Fun Day on the Saturday which was some superb accidental timing on our part, so there were local stalls selling food and gifts, a band playing on stage, and lots of proper small-town tradition with a local kids dance groups putting on a performance and prizes being given out for fancy dress - very cute!  We also saw the local Christmas lights being switched on which was nice and put us all in the festive mood so we popped to a pub for a wee mulled cider afterwards.

Later that evening (after more games and cocktails) we came back into town again for dinner at the Black Watch Inn.  The food here was lovely, I had garlic mushrooms to start followed by fish and chips (this was soooo good) and then we got a selection of desserts to share because even though we were all stuffed, they sounded too good to ignore. 

After all that food we practically had to roll ourselves back to the cottage (uphill....noooo!) where we all put our PJ's back on and plonked ourselves on the sofas (or lay on the floor if you're Laura) for some more games before admitting defeat and heading to bed for our last night (sob sob).

The next morning after packing up and leaving our cases at reception we took a somewhat subdued walk into town, all feeling a bit sad that we were going home.  Little did we know that in half an hours time we'd be having the BEST FUN EVER though, as after discovering that all the shops were closed (us city girls are used to Sundays being a normal shopping day) we started wandering around the residential streets and stumbled across the local park.  In said park was a play area with a slide and a tire swing and some spinny things and OMG it looked like so much fun, so once the local teenagers had left (ha) we ran straight in.  This ended up being one of the best bits of the whole weekend - we had SUCH a laugh playing on everything, although some of us had a little bit too much fun and had to stop because we felt sick (the perils of getting old).  

...probably on Instagram, lol

After we'd tired ourselves out we went for a pub lunch before going back to the cottage to be picked up and driven home.  The journey home was a hell of a lot quieter than the one on Friday, with a few of us having a cheeky snooze.  Once back in Edinburgh I think most of us went straight home for a rest - it's amazing how much a "relaxing weekend" can take it out of you!

I vlogged the whole trip so if you have a spare 20 minutes (again, sorry-not-sorry) then you can watch our little happy faces as stock up on booze and carbs in Tesco, act like idiots playing Cranium, drink lots and lots of cocktails, and run about in a kids playpark squeeling with joy.  Lynsey also vlogged so keep an eye on her channel for the video coming soon.

I honestly had one of the best weekends EVER and I love these girls to bits - it's funny to think that if I hadn't started this blog we never would have met, and as one of us put it during dinner on the first night "I think we are REAL pals now".  Awww.